Whole roasted chicken untouched--what to do?
- Bada Bing May 26, 2013 08:39 AM
I roasted a whole chicken yesterday but at last minute had to just let it cool. Now it's in the fridge.
I'm wondering whether reheating it is the way to go (wouldn't want to cook it further, though how to do that?), or whether there are better applications (single or multiple) that come to mind for people here.
Depending where you live, if fresh produce is coming into season, I'd opt for cold sliced chicken with fresh tomatoes, steamed zucchini and crookneck, and roasted Mexican street vendor style corn. I'd also take advantage of the situation and leave a fair amount of meat on the carcass when making stock. Sliced roast chicken is also a great ingredient in panini, maybe with some wonderful cheese and some roasted tomatoes and peppers. If fresh vegetables are not yet abundant where you live, I'd chunk it up and make stacked green chili enchiladas, topped with a fried egg and crumbled Cotija. I love having leftover roast chicken. Frankly as much as I love it hot, it is largely because it smells so good and goes well with so many wines.
Whenever whole chickens go on sale I purchase 2 or 3 and roast them for weeknight meals. I freeze them whole in large ziplock bags then pull one out when needed. Here are some ways we enjoy using up the meat:
- shredded in pasta dishes or salads. This week we shredded some for a pasta dish w roasted asparagus and ricotta. Dinner came together in the time it took to cook the pasta.
- sliced for sandwiches (panini, clubhouse, hot chx w gravy open faced) or atop pizza or as a filling for fajitas. For the fajitas I just toss the sliced chx in w the seasoned peppers and onion at the last minute to warm it up.
- sliced or chopped in a stir fry
- chopped for soups, stews or chicken pot pie
- drums and wings are great for picnic-style dining. No need to reheat, just enjoy cold w some potato salad or coleslaw.
Roast meats never taste the same if they are thoroughly reheated, and reheated chicken skin doesn't get as crisp as just-made. If I wanted to serve that bird "hot", I'd remove the meat from the carcass and make stock, including some of the skin. Then reduce part of the stock and thicken for gravy. Remove the skin from the meat. Slice the meat and allow it to come to room temp while recrisping the skin in the oven at 375-400F. Warm the meat only slightly in the microwave or for 2-3 min once the skin is done recrisping. Ladle the hot gravy over the skin and meat.
If you're talking about a chicken that has been roasted with the result similar to what you see in a "rotisserie chicken" from a supermarket, it CAN be reheatd and be so darn close to the original that you'll be hard pressed to find it. You need a loose head of iccberg lettuce and a steamer. I either use my large pressure cooker with a glass lid and the steaming basket inside OR a large stainless steel saslad bowl with one of thise "fan" steamer baskets from the kitchen gadget department.
Take the iceberg lettuce apart in whole leaves. Wrap the chicken in the leaves so it's all covered. If you need to use a little string to hold the lettuce in place, that's okay. A few judicious toothpicks will also work. Settle the wrapped chicken in the steamer basket, bring the water to boil, reduce to a simmer, cover tightly with a lid and allow to steam gently from 20 minutes to a half hour. You're not cooking the chicken, but just heating it through. You can check if it's warm enough by inserting a steel skewer and holding it close to your bottom lip.
When the chicken is well warmed, you'll need to re-crisp the skin. Two choices: You can put the whole chicken in a searing hot oven for a few minutes watching it closely. (You don't need burned chicken at this point!) Or you can crisp the skin with a kitchen torch, which is my preferred method. Carve at the table, if you wish. Enjoy!
Take the breasts off and cut them into strips about the size of your little finger. Quickly fry in butter to warm them up. Take them out and keep them warm. Quikcly fry thinly sliced mushrooms. Then some bitter leaves - watercress, rocket, that sort of thing - to wilt a little. Add the chicken back in and a good dollop of mayo. Pile onto soft bread rolls. Wonderful sandwich to eat in front of the tV.
Reheat as is, shred into chicken salad/tacos/anything that would be good with shredded chicken, or bone and dice/shred for chicken pot pie. We regularly use leftover chicken from one meal to toss into a pot pie for another night (loaded up with veggies, no crust on the bottom, only on top, and it's not even too bad unhealthy - and the ultimate comfort food!).
Are you opposed to microwaving it? Hack it into servable pieces, place on plate, cover loosely with papertowel, and heat on medium power for 2 - 3 minutes. You'll not be able to achieve that shatter-crisp skin after it's already been roasted, sorry.
Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone! I think I need to cook some more chickens now.
In the end, I cut it into parts. Used the breast for a curry chicken salad, the leg quarters reheated carefully in microwave to serve with veggie (sauteed beet greens) and cous-cous, and the rest to make a bit of stock (for the cous-cous and down the road).
Amen to all suggestions; a roast chicken in the refrigerator is like money in the bank. But I will suggest a sauce that is very nice with cold roast chicken:Tahini Mint Mayonnaise. To a cup of any mayonnaise from a jar add 2 tablespoons tahini, a clove of garlic, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp dried mint, 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. Tahini makes the mayonnaise richer and the mint and citrus make sure it doesn't taste icky rich.
I will put in a bid for what old cookbooks call "chicken hash"---just cut-up cooked chicken in plenty of gravy, plain or with chopped scallions, celery, and green pepper added. Universally useful as it is good on toast, biscuits, a baked potato, in a crepe, with rice, with mashed potatoes, with sweet potatoes, with couscous, or with pasta. If you roasted the chicken yourself, save the juice from the pan add it to stock made with the bones then add a can or two of chicken gravy to get the quantity you need. And of course it freezes nicely.
My favourite things to do with a roast chicken other than eating the skin when it's straight out of the oven:
chicken and dumplings
shredded bbq chicken sandwiches with blue cheese coleslaw
eaten cold and dipped in dijon and mayo